#FREESOTA from ICE custody

$16,295 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 553 people in 2 months
Created June 10, 2019
on behalf of Maria Schulz
On June 6th, 2019, John Bing III aka Sota aka Sota Smoov was arrested and detained by ICE. Sota is a loving husband, father and friend who is a pillar in our community.

Please consider donating to this GoFund for funds to go towards: immigration legal fees, jail commissary, and support his wife and their 3 young children. We have less than 90 days to reach our goal. Help us to fight for Sota to stay in Minnesota with his family.
Below is Sota’s story.

John Bing III was born in Monrovia, Liberia in 1984. John's birth rendered his mother extremely ill. While she lay in a hospital in Liberia, a civil war broke out. His grandfather was killed. His grandmother and father packed up the infant Bing and fled to Washington D.C., then Columbus, Ohio, where he lived until he got a call that would change his life.

It came from Minnesota, and his mother was on the other end. She was alive and living in Minneapolis.

He became so connected to his mom and to this place that he now goes by the name “Sota." His paperwork had not been able to be completed.

Today, Sota faces deportation to a country he doesn’t know. Minnesota is the only home that Sota knows. Together with his wife Mixie thay have three children: a 4-month old, and a 3 and a 4 year old. Sota works 9am - 5pm, five-six days a week and is the sole income provider for their family.

Sota’s current detention and possible deportation will have devastating emotional and financial consequences to his family. We are also concerned that his incarceration will exacerbate his untreated mental health trauma.

Sota is an active community member, a cook and artist who traverses social circles. He has performed on nearly every stage in the Twin Cities, gracing countless people with his passionate and undeniably authentic musical expression.
Sota is also a devout Christian, cleans his church every Saturday, attends church every Sunday, plays guitar and sings in the church band.

We appreciate the immense support and love from our community here in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. Please share this with your community and consider donating what you can. Thank you!

Below are expenses that we are fundraising toward:
Retain a lawyer for Sota. So far all quotes we have received are over $3000. Once he appears before a judge, we will know if and what his bond for release will be.
- commissary cards, which require consistent updating for us to keep in direct contact with John, and so he may buy basic amenities while incarcerated
- child care for their 3 children
- daily nourishment for the family
- car insurance bills and gas for transportation
- vehicle repairs 
- Sota and his wife have also been seeking new living arrangements in order to leave their current situation which is not an ideal space for them to raise their family. We are raising funds to put down a security deposit and first few months of rent at a new living space.

Please also be sure to sign the petition - https://www.thepetitionsite.com/403/657/370/free-sota-now/?taf_id=63023980&cid=fb_na#bbfb=925276778 

For more information visit -  www.freesota.info 

Thank You,

These funds are being transferred to Maria Schulz (Mixie) on behalf of Sota and their family.
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Peace Family,

We are excited to announce that we have reached our initial goal of $13,000! We couldn’t have done it without the tremendous support from our community. We want to send thanks and praise to God, and to every person who has donated, shared, attended a #FREESOTA event, and/or continued the conversation of the greater issue at hand; which is tearing families apart all over the country. Together we are stronger than any force that will try to destroy us.

Because of your generous contributions, the following have been achieved and maintained:
- Basic needs and care for Mixie and Sota’s 3 children
- Commissary for Sota to be able to communicate with friends and family, and to acquire other necessities while incarcerated.
- Transportation for the family
- Car Insurance and repairs

As we continue this fight for Sota’s freedom, we have encountered numerous obstacles in the process. We have been adamant to find a lawyer who will fight hard with us. Legal fees and other actions to maneuver through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) have made us realize that we underestimated how much funding we really need. As it stands, Sota may not be able to be released from custody for another six months to a year, and even that is unsure, so we have decided to increase our funding goal to $25,000.

Moving forward, we will continue raising funds for the following:
- Legal fees are still pending as new situations arise, but the projected cost has risen to $15,000
- Continued daily support for Mixie and their 3 children
- A new living situation for the family
- Commissary for Sota

We wish for Sota’s wife and 3 children to be taken care of and to be able to maintain consistent communication with their husband and father. We are grateful for how much Love has been show throughout this whole experience and we ask that y’all continue to share this page and do what you can to contribute to the #FREESOTA movement.

Stay current with updates and further ways to be involved at - www.freesota.info

Come join the movement this Sunday, June 30 at 2:00 p.m. - Protest & March: Stop Separating Families

STARTING POINT: Gather at Lake St. & Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis

From there we’ll march!

ENDING POINT: The march will end with community speakers at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis (3400 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408)

Peace & Love,
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Thank you #freesota community for supporting us so far. Him & his family feel your love, you have expressed an interest in being updated and here are some different ways you can help.

Write Sota:
John Bing (3677)
13880 Business Center Drive Northwest, Elk River, MN 55330

Write to the ummigration judge about what Sota & Community means to you. Drop off box location M-F/ mailing location:
611 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Flyers will also be at this location to spread the word.


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$16,295 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 553 people in 2 months
Created June 10, 2019
on behalf of Maria Schulz
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